Santorini Island is popularly known for its mind-blowing sunsets, picturesque windmills, lovely white buildings, and majestic beaches to explore. The island attracts all kinds of tourist from newlyweds and couples to history lovers from all over the world. The island also houses the ancient archaeological sites and museums that you can explore apart from its mesmerizing scenery. Some of the best things to do in Santorini Island are listed below.
Top things to do in Santorini Greece
Go sightseeing at the Ancient Thera
The ancient Thera can be found on high cliffs that jut out into the sea between the beaches of Perissa and Kamari. It is filled with ruins that were excavated during the early 1900s. You are going to find monuments, ancient tombs, and ruins of churches, homes, and fortifications which symbolizes a wide range of post-Minoan periods in the region. The highlights of this region are Roman baths, a shrine to Apollo that is marked with 8th-century graffiti, and 4th-century Hellenistic structures. You can easily visit the Ancient Thera by climbing the site from the beaches below or visit the ruins by taxi, tour bus, or private car.
Wander around Oia
This village is located over the northern rim of the caldera and it is considered to be the most charming village on Santorini Island. It is a great place to go for sundowners. The village is dotted by signature cave houses in Santorini that is arranged in steep rows. The village flourished during the 19th century due to the fleet of merchant ships that sailed from long distance. The captains then constructed some of the finest houses in the village which gives it the Venetian inspired architecture and offers great views of the caldera. You are also going to find wide ranges of restaurants with terraces that offers scenic views. Some of the best places to visit in the village are art galleries, ruins of Byzantine castle, and a maritime museum.
Other Islands that you might consider
Fira is the capital of Santorini and it is surrounded by whitewashed cubic houses and terraces, blue-domed churches, winding lanes, and little squares located on cliffs that are 300m above the caldera. From the small port of Skala, you can get to the city by walking or riding a mule up the steep winding path or taking the scenic cable-car. The city is filled with numerous small hotels, cafes, apartments, restaurants, jewelers, and souvenir shops that you can explore. For a more thrilling adventure, you can also visit the neighboring towns through the Fira to Oia scenic trail that will take you along the cliff of the caldera.
Visit the Red Beach at Akrotíri in Santorini Greece
The Akrotiri site houses the popular Red Beach below the magnificent red cliff wall. You can access the beach through a path from the town of Akrotiri. If you are not up for an adventure, you can take a bus from Fira or drive and park close to the rocky path that reaches the beach. You can also access the beach from Kamari, Akrotiri, and Perissa ports by boat. It is best to come here early in the morning to enjoy the contrasting views of the red rocks against the water before it gets crowded. You should also keep in mind that some part of the beach is prone to landslides and the sections are roped off from tourists.
Explore the Museum of Prehistoric Thira
This museum houses the finds from the Akrotiri archaeological site in a modern white building. The museum can be found not far from the 1950s Mitropolis church in Fira. The highlight of the museum is the Blue Monkeys wall fresco. Some of the ancient attractions not to miss here are the marble figurines, tools and weapons, and painted ceramics.
Visit the Beach at Perissa
This is the most popular beach in Santorini island and can be found on the southeast coast between the villages of Perissa and Perivolos. It features a 6km long stretch of fine, black volcanic sand and it is backed by tamarisk trees which overlooks numerous cafes and tavernas that you can visit. You can also rent sunbeds and umbrellas on the beach. It also offers lovely watersports facilities that you can try out. The beach is about 12km from Fira.
Facts about Santorini Greece
- The Island was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history
- It is one of the most Instagrammed places in the world
- Santorini sustains a wine industry, based on the indigenous Asyrtiko grape variety
- One of the most well known Islands in Greece(everyone has it on their wish to list)